DRAFT For immediate release

Contact: Theresa Goeller – 412 519-4659

Save Lucas Goeller: Family and Community Unite
To Find a Liver for Dying 2-Year-Old

June 17, 2014 — As an infant, Lucas Goeller was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare and life-threatening condition which effects approximately 1 in 10,000 infants. The primary treatment, known as the Kasai Procedure, failed, leaving only one hope for Lucas – a liver transplant. For the last 18 months, Lucas has awaited a life-saving liver transplant, all the while getting more and more ill. His family has waited patiently and prayerfully, through multiple hospitalizations. As Lucas grows ever weaker, this week, his family decided to take their story public in the hopes that someone, somewhere could help – and the community response has been overwhelming.

On Monday, June 15, a Facebook page was launched and within 48 hours, it has received 2900 “likes.” A GoFundMe account was started in hopes that the money might help raise awareness of Lucas’s plight, and $4000 was raised in the first 24 hours. Lamar Advertising learned of the situation and immediately donated, free of charge, 25 electronic billboards, which were up and running within hours. Today, on June 17, the family posted a website at www.savelucasgoeller.com.

For the Goeller family, time is running out, and they await with hope and anxiety for Lucas to receive a life-saving liver transplant. Lucas needs an entire liver and is not a candidate for a living related donation. They struggle with the sadness of knowing that when and if they receive the long-awaited call saying there is a liver for Lucas, it will mean another family is going through the heartbreak of losing a loved one.

Lucas is one of an estimated 120,000 individuals nationwide on the transplant waiting list. For Lucas, time is running out. His hardened and distended liver is applying growing pressure on his lungs, making it difficult to breathe. He has difficulty digesting food, and has very limited muscular development and mobility. If he waits too long, he will become too sick to receive a donor organ. The Goeller’s hope is that their campaign to educate the community on Lucas’s plight will encourage every family faced with the choice, to say “yes” to organ donation. A family can also specifically state they’d like to donate an organ to Lucas Goeller – he can be saved by a matching liver, type 0+ or 0-, from an infant through to a young adult.

The Goellers wish to thank all of those who are helping them in their search to help save Lucas’s life. Anyone can help, whether it be through “liking” their facebook page, sharing the story to help publicize Lucas’s fight for life, or talking to others about organ donation and letting friends and family members know that when your times comes, you wish to be an organ donor. To register as an organ donor, go to the Donate Life website and click on your state.